Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie) announced that an important bill he introduced requiring charitable organizations to provide donors with information available from the state attorney general passed the Assembly (A.2688-B). The bill passed the Assembly unanimously for the second year in a row, and awaits action in the State Senate.
Donating to charity is an important way for many New Yorkers to support causes they feel strongly about and make a real difference. But often New Yorkers, especially senior citizens, are solicited by fraudulent operators. Its important to know if the charity contacting you is real, said Steck.
The bill prevents fraud by requiring solicitations to include reference to the Attorney Generals web site and telephone number where the citizen can get more information about the charity. If that information is not provided, then the charity is not bona fide.
Furthermore, if the information is provided, the citizen can investigate to determine if the cause is worthy prior to making a donation. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, Americans donated over $390 billion in 2016.1 However, while most charities are legitimate and use the vast majority of the money they raise to support important causes, there are examples of others who only donate a small portion to the actual issue, using the money instead for salaries or in some circumstances, for dishonest purposes, noted Steck.
The attorney generals report and other information on charitable giving can be found at www.charitiesnys.com or by phone at 212-416-8401.